It is just a thought. As we have a star to mark favorite a good question, can we similarly have a star to each answer so that a good answer can be marked as favorites by users. That way one can know which answer gave the most accurate and lucid explanation. What do you think?


1 Answer 1


The proposal seems to be based on a misunderstanding of the feature. The purpose of favorites is not so much 'to mark favorite a good question.' The purpose is to be able to follow and to relocate a question-thread. A more transparent name for "favorite" might be "follow" or "bookmark."

Now, there might be a correlation between good quality and the number users wishing to follow the development, and there are badges for being favorite, but still giving credit or highlighting excellence this is not the point of the feature to begin with. To wit, there is no direct way to sort question by number of favorites.

A tool to highlight 'the most accurate and lucid explanation' exists: upvote.

Moreover "favorite" is in any case a feature that applies more to the question-thread than the question-post, for example new answers activate the "favorite."

One could still entertain the idea to have favorite for answer posts, too. Yet what for exactly? It may be possible one is interested in updates on one answer to a question and note updates to the question or new answers, but really it should be quite rare. What else? If they are extended verbatim it would then allow to be notified of comments on an answer post, which is now not the case. But if one wants this, I would rather propose to modify "favorite" so that it gets activated by comments on answers too.

To sum this up: The proposal seems to be based on a misunderstanding. The potential actual use-cases seem not very significant. I do not see a need for this and believe it would make the user-interface more busy for not enough in return.

Additionally in 2022, bookmarks have been replaced by saves. This new functionality allows to save answers, not only questions.

See the announcement here: Bookmarks have evolved into Saves. Links to further info about saves can be found in the corresponding tag-info on Meta Stack Exchange and on this meta.

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ I sometimes really want to bookmark a specific answer. $\endgroup$
    – dbanet
    Dec 14, 2015 at 20:15
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Could you give an example? $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Dec 14, 2015 at 20:31
  • $\begingroup$ @quid For me (someone who doesn't really ever spend time answering but occasionally finds some nice old stuff on the site) there's occasionally answers like this one and this one that I would like to be able to come back and see again. Not for any particular reason other than occasionally the problem comes to mind again and I want to consult what I remembered to be a brilliant answer. So not really "to give credit" so much as just have a little collection of all of my favorite answers somewhere. $\endgroup$
    – miradulo
    Dec 19, 2015 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ @DonkeyKong thanks for the example. I'll note though that the latter is currently the only answer to that question. It is not quite clear to me how favoriting the question is not an adequate way to achieve what you want. For the former, okay, there are many other answers, but the one you want is pretty high up in the list and it should not be that much work to relocate it after having clicked the favorte link for the question. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Dec 19, 2015 at 15:39
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    $\begingroup$ @quid Oh I completely agree, and it's not something I think is incredibly important by any means. Favoriting questions and bookmarking links does alright. $\endgroup$
    – miradulo
    Dec 19, 2015 at 15:43
  • $\begingroup$ Sometimes "upvote" is not enough, because it might be the case that most (or even all!) of the answers deserve a +1, but you could also have one 'favorite'. In any case, the term favorite is extremely misleading. I found myself bookmarking with the star and at the same time thinking "I'm sure this is not the way favorites are meant to be used"! $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2015 at 12:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I guess the term "favorite" comes from the fact that a certain browser calls its bookmarks "favorites". $\endgroup$
    – celtschk
    Dec 21, 2015 at 9:08
  • $\begingroup$ @celtschk: yes, certainly, I think this is even officially stated somewhere. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Dec 21, 2015 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ @quid for example, I don't care about anything in this question except the answer given by user John Joy, which I find interesting for that use of differentials. I would really like to bookmark this exact answer to investigate it some time later. Adding the question to the favorites wouldn't really work that well as I won't later be able to figure out why do I have this question in my favorites list. There also is no way to get a direct link to an answer to bookmark it in my browser, ... $\endgroup$
    – dbanet
    Feb 1, 2016 at 16:49
  • $\begingroup$ @quid ... so I have to bookmark the whole question in my browser and add a note to the bookmark to look for a specific answer instead of just adding the answer to favorites on MSE itself. Now I'm just having two lists of bookmarked MSE items: the favorites on the site itself and several bookmarks in my browser which are necessary because such a basic functionality is not implemented. $\endgroup$
    – dbanet
    Feb 1, 2016 at 16:50
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    $\begingroup$ @dbanet ...You can bookmark in your browser a direct link to the question, obtained via the share link found under the answer. Or (and bear with me here) you can bookmark/favorite the question, and when you read it again you can remember that you cared about the answer but not the question! $\endgroup$ Feb 1, 2016 at 17:15
  • $\begingroup$ @quid please notice my previous comment mentions the fact there is no way to obtain a direct link to an answer, so that I have to bookmark the URL of the question containing the answer instead and attach a note to the bookmark containing information which answer I really meant to bookmark. $\endgroup$
    – dbanet
    Feb 1, 2016 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ @dbanet first on your last comment, I assume it was intended as a reply to Najib. But it seems clear to me that what he intended to say is that in fact you can bookmark a direct link to an answer (try the link he gives to see it for yourself). On the other point, honestly, I just have a very hard time to believe this latter having problem figuring out why it was interesting. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Feb 1, 2016 at 22:52

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